YEREVAN, December 20. /ARKA/. Armenia’s economic development will be tense in 2014, but the main focus will be placed on light industry, head of Union of Local Manufacturers of Armenia Vazgen Safaryan told reporters Friday.
These industries, particularly shoe production using local rawstock, knitwear manufacture and chemical industry may help increase economic growth and budget receipts, as well as ensure execution of budget in terms of expenditures, Safaryan told a press conference Friday.
In summarizing the 2013 results Safaryan said Armenia’s economic activity was 3.1% over the eleven months and keeps dropping, whereas industry output totaled 1.1 trillion drams, a 7.1% increase against the 2012 level.
Safaryan said agriculture output rose by 6.1% to 857.3 billion drams, construction dropped to 356.5 billion drams, which is an 8.5% reduction compared to the same period of 2012.
Negative trade balance totaling $2.7-2.8 billion (exports were $1.3bln and imports a $3.9-4bln) is the most sensitive issue of Armenian economy, head of the Union said.
The most visible problems, according to Safaryan, are continuous migration, high unemployment level (18%), low salaries and pensions that are below the minimum consumer basket level, despite the expected increase as from January 1 2014.
Armenia’s foreign trade turnover amounted to about $5,342.7 million in January-November, an increase of 5.2% compared to the same period of 2012. Armenia’s GDP growth target for 2013 was 6.2% under the budget. ($1=405.35drams). -0-